Valdosta Daily Times

October 11, 2012

Friday night previews

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Friday night is headlined by two marquee battles. The Lowndes Vikings will visit their crosstown rival Valdosta Friday night at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, while the Brooks County Trojans host the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes in Quitman.

Other action Friday night includes: Valwood at Terrell Academy, Pelham at Cook, Berrien at Thomasville, Charlton County at Lanier County and Irwin County at Clinch County.

Lowndes Vikings (6-0) at Valdosta Wildcats (3-2)

The Winnersville rivalry needs no introduction. Friday’s meeting will be the 51st all-time meeting between the two schools. Last year, the Wildcats ended a seven-year winless drought to their rival Vikings with a stunning 21-17 win over the Vikings, scoring 14 points in the final 48 seconds to secure the win. Lowndes is undefeated on the season, which includes two wins inside the region.

A victory Friday for the Vikings and Lowndes will nearly be guaranteed a playoff berth, while a loss for the Wildcats puts them in a massive 0-2 hole heading to Tift County next week.

A Wildcat victory, on the other hand, will tighten an already tough region and make the final month of the season a must-win for every team. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Friday night from Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in Valdosta.

Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes (5-1)  at Brooks County Trojans (6-0)

Fitzgerald embarrassed Brooks County last year, clobbering the Trojans, 39-0, in a game that decided the Region 1-AA champion. The Trojans haven’t forgotten the loss. In fact, when the Trojans became unfocused during the summer, head coach Maurice Freeman put on the tape of the blowout loss to focus his team.

This year, the Trojans are a clear front-runner to win the region championship and state championship. But, Friday is one of the toughest tests of the season for the Trojans. Fitzgerald is 5-1 this season and its only loss came to a larger classification school, Monroe, who Brooks County barely beat.

Last week, the Trojans beat Thomasville, while Fitzgerald edged out region rival Cook. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Quitman’s Veterans Stadium.

Valwood Valiants (6-0) at Terrell Academy Eagles (5-2)

The Valwood Valiants are 6-0 for the first time since the 1990’s and are looking to stay perfect on the season with a win over the Terrell Academy Eagles Friday night. Last week, Valwood blasted Sherwood Christian and led by 40-plus points midway through the second quarter. This week, the Eagles could be a tougher competition. The key for the Valiants will be not to look ahead to the end of the season showdown with Southwest Georgia.

Pelham Hornets (1-4)  at Cook Hornets (4-1)

It is homecoming Friday night in Adel and the Hornets are looking to rebound from a loss to Fitzgerald last Friday night. The Hornets dominated the game, racking up 22 first downs compared to the Purple Hurricanes’ nine. Cook also outgained Fitzgerald by 200 yards. The difference was a goal line stand in the first half by Fitzgerald, which led Cook with no points. Pelham is 1-4 this season since making the jump from Class A to Class AA. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Berrien Rebels (2-3) at Thomasville Bulldogs (1-5)

The Berrien Rebels had a fast start in last Friday’s game against Early County. Unfortunately for the Rebels, the Bobcats got hot in the second half and earned a blowout victory. This week, the Rebels look to remain in the playoff hunt with a big victory over the struggling Thomasville Bulldogs, who are coasting to the end of the season. Berrien is 0-17-1 all-time against Thomasville, but with the Bulldogs struggling this year, the Rebels could be in line for their first ever victory over the Thomasville.

Charlton County Indians (3-3) at Lanier County Bulldogs (2-4)

A win over Charlton County could be exactly what the Bulldogs need to end their recent losing ways. Losers of three straight and four of their last five games, the Bulldogs host the Indians Friday night in a Region 2-A game. The Bulldogs are dead last in the region, while Charlton County is looking to remain in the playoff hunt with a game against Clinch County looming at the end of the month.

Irwin County Indians (3-2) at Clinch County Panthers (3-2)

Clinch County, winners of two straight, looks to remain near the top of Region 2-A with a win Friday night over the Irwin County Indians. Last year, the Indians upset the Panthers, 32-31. This year, both teams enter with identical records: three wins, two losses. Both could use a victory Friday night. Clinch County was idle last Friday night, while Irwin County won its second straight game with a 55-21 win over Telfair County. The Indians’ two losses this season came against Fitzgerald (31-0) at East Laurens (21-13), both Class AA schools. For Clinch County, the season opening loss to Brooks County seems to be far in the pass as the Panthers have won three of their last four, including a 17-9 win over Telfair County two weeks ago.